As the largest country in Western Europe and the fifth economic power, France plays an important role in the European and worldwide market. Bounded by the North Sea, the English Channel, the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean with borders with six other countries, France is a natural crossroads for European and International trade. With its large population, well developed transport and technology infrastructures and a qualified and highly productive workforce, France is an attractive destination for foreign investments.
Understanding French values and attitudes is a prerequisite for anyone doing business in France. Communicaid’s Cross Cultural Awareness Training course Doing business in France can help international organisations gain a better understanding of French business culture and social etiquette. Listed below are some of the key benefits of doing business in France that Intercultural Training France can help you harness.
France is located at the heart of Europe and shares borders with Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Italy and Spain. France also has direct links to the UK, Algeria and Tunisia. This unique location, recognised since ancient times, is a great asset for international organisations wanting to sell their products on the European and International market.
Home to approximately 64 million people, France has the second largest population in Western Europe behind Germany and a good purchasing power. These two elements make France an attractive market for a large variety of products and services. Like in many other western countries, the French market is open to competition and presents many opportunities to international businesses looking for a new venture.
Qualified and Productive Workforce
Contrary to common belief, mostly due to the large amount of press around the ‘French 35 hour working week’, the French workforce is productive. Statistics show that France is the third country in terms of hourly productivity while annual and hourly productivity rates per worker is approximately 20% higher than other European countries. France also has world renowned schools and universities which provide a qualified workforce. Five of these schools (HEC Paris, INSEAD, ESCP Europe, EM Lyon and Essec) were ranked in the top 12 European business schools by the Financial Times in 2009 . In fact, more than 200,000 foreign students chose France for their international exchange programme in 2009, evidence of the popularity of the level of higher education and qualifications.
France has one of the most well designed and efficient transport networks in the world. The high speed train networks such as the French TGV (Trains à Grand Vitesse) is renowned for breaking speed records on a regular basis and is one of the best means of transportation in France allowing fast journeys between all French major cities and toward many Europeans capitals. In addition to the developed train infrastructure, there are approximately one million kilometres of roads and motorways. Although some are toll roads, the majority of roads are owned by the state and are free of charge, providing a fast and reliable way to transport and deliver goods around France. French waterways are also a viable alternative for transporting merchandise, thanks to thousands of canals and a large commercial fleet of canal boats. And finally, there are 500 airports in France, the main ones being Orly and Roissy Charles de Gaulle in Paris allowing for fast domestic travel and access to international destinations.
International organisations doing business in France can profit immensely from the benefits stated above, but only if they are prepared with the right level of cultural knowledge and competence. Doing business in France effectively requires a comprehensive understanding of key French values, business etiquette and communication styles. Cultural Awareness Training France courses like Communicaid’s Doing Business in France or Living and Working in France can help you to develop your cross cultural skills and ensure a successful business experience in the French hexagone.
© Communicaid Group Ltd. 2010